Do you feel that your career is dying? Skilled technical staff across the UK believe that they have no future in user companies, and consider that they would be better off as contractors.
That's one of the main findings of the largest study ever conducted into the UK's IT labour market, published last week by PC Week's sister paper, Computing.
Over the last six months more than 1,700 Computing readers have participated in a series of surveys, Email polls and discussions to find out what the future holds for people working in IT.
The National Resources survey also polled those not directly involved in IT but whose organisations depend on it.
The survey found there is widespread agreement that skilled IT people are better off moving to a specialist outsourcing firm or becoming contractors.
Contracting has its own problems for firms. A vicious circle is set up once an organisation starts using outsourcers or contractors, the survey found. Existing staff get jealous of the outsiders' salaries, and also realise that the shrinking IT department means shrinking opportunities if they stay. So they leave, taking vital knowledge with them.
On the plus side, the report discovered a feeling that IT is recession proof. The requirement for IT is driven by technology change and the need to keep up, so firms will keep spending in a recession.
People with IT skills can negotiate good remuneration packages, the report found. Staff with valued skills can make heavy demands of their employer.
Often flexible terms and lifestyle issues are as important as money in retaining staff - the survey quotes one instance of snowboarding holiday used as an incentive.
A limited number of copies of the National Resources survey are available.
Send a cheque for #295 made payable to VNU Business Publications, along with your name and address, to: Andrew Petrie, VNU Business Publications, 32-34 Broadwick Street, London W1A 2HG.
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